I spent Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, but since I found out I had celiac disease and started eating gluten free, it makes me nervous. There’s nothing worse than being on the road – either alone or with company – and you can’t find anywhere that serves gluten free food! Since DC is a large city, I figured I would be safe. I packed lots of snacks for the drive and also had my trusted Find Me Gluten Free app on my phone as well as a list of restaurants I found online that were deemed ‘safe.’
Our first evening in Washington DC, we ate a restaurant called Proof. Since we were meeting up with friends who were aware of my dietary restrictions, they had called ahead to make sure the restaurant could accommodate me. Not only could they accommodate my gluten free diet, but they had lots of choices! I went with a safe choice – the grilled flat iron steak which included roasted potatoes, scallions, and ramps. The dish was put together beautifully although it was a small portion – especially for the price – but it tasted delicious. For dessert, I went with a trio of sorbets which was also excellent and very refreshing after a hot day and long drive. Others in my party had the Alaskan halibut and Long Island duck breast which they seemed to enjoy. Overall, I felt like the server did a good job of communicating all of the gluten free choices they had and making sure that my food was safe. I think the prices were high, but that could be because I’m not used to eating in nice restaurants in a big city anymore. Evidently Proof is known for their massive wine selection although everyone in my group stuck to cocktails. The atmosphere is trendy – set in an almost industrial setting.
All photos were taken from the Proof website.
Paul Bakery & Cafe
After having a successful gluten free dinner the first evening in DC, I was feeling pretty confident. Boy, was I was wrong! The second evening we met up with our group at the Paul Bakery & Cafe. I should have known by the strong smell of bread that hit me when I opened the door that this was a bad idea. However, the group really wanted to try some of the pastries, and I didn’t want to spoil that. If I didn’t have to eat gluten free, i would have been all over the pain au chocolat! I spoke to the lady behind the counter about gluten free options, and she appeared knowledgeable, saying that they would make me a special gluten free grilled chicken salad. I felt comfortable with that option so I ordered and went outside to join my party. Imagine my surprise when my gluten free grilled chicken salad came out – with NO grilled chicken and with a ROLL on top of the salad. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say! Later on, I was able to laugh about it, but at the time it was definitely not funny because I was very hungry!
I guess that goes to show that you win some and you lose some. Eating out with a gluten free diet will always be a gamble, but most of the time it’s a risk I’m willing to take. After all, I don’t want my dietary restrictions to make me a hermit!
Do you have a favorite gluten free restaurant in DC? Have you ever ordered something ‘gluten free’ only for it to arrive with bread?